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Top 6 Mistakes IT Job Seekers Make

Dec 03 , 2015

Staying positive while job searching will make the process more successful.

Job search blunders can cost job seekers the IT job opportunities they really want, leading to a much longer job search or settling for a job they don't really want. Here are some common job search mistakes and how IT job seekers can avoid making them.

1. Neglecting Networking

Many IT job seekers throw themselves into searching job boards and filling out application after application, but the most effective way to find a job is through networking. Instead of camping out at the computer, get out there and talk to people. Ask all your friends whether their companies are hiring, reconnect with colleagues from former jobs and go to job fairs and open houses. Update your LinkedIn profile and start using it on a daily basis to connect with IT personnel in as many companies as you can.

It is estimated that over 50% of hires are due to networking and referrals from current employees, so you can't afford to neglect this important step in the job search.

2. Forgetting Follow-up

Follow-up is important at two points in the job search process: after submitting an application and after an interview (even if it's the second or third interview). When you are submitting a high volume of applications, following up can easily get forgotten, but some hiring personnel won't even consider an applicant who doesn't call after a week and inquire about the status of the position to indicate that they are still interested, or send a thank you note or email after an interview. Following up shows that you are diligent and polite.

3. Bad Body Language

If you're not making it past the first interview, try sitting in front of the mirror and answering some typical interview questions. It could be that you slouch, avoid eye contact, or have some other bad body language habits that impact how you come across to interviewers. Up to 90% of communication is non-verbal, so body language may make a bigger impression on interviewers than what you actually say.

Persistence is the key to a successful job search.

4. Redundant Resume

When submitting your resume, the prevailing advice is to keep the length at two pages or less. You can say more in those two pages if you avoid repeating yourself. When you list job history, try to highlight different skills for each one. Vary your vocabulary so that you don't use the same word too often. Make sure you look up which keywords the resume screening software will be looking for and use them, but not repeatedly.

5. Carping About the Company

This refers to your previous company as well as the one you are interviewing with. Negativity, complaining and insults are huge red flags that you might be difficult to work with, and will likely cost you the opportunity. If you think you may be the type of person who exudes negativity, use the voice memo app on your smartphone to record some of your conversations, then work on leaving out the negative comments and criticisms.

6. Deferring to Discouragement

The job search process can be full of discouraging moments. Those times you get no response from the company with the seemingly perfect job listing, or when you make it past the second interview but still don't get hired. It's okay to feel discouraged - you're human, after all - but once the moment passes, you need to find the courage to get back out there and try again.

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